Article

Prosody and its relationship to language in school-aged children with high-functioning autism.

Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh, UK.
International Journal of Language & Communication Disorders (Impact Factor: 1.44). 07/2009; 42(6):682-702. DOI: 10.1080/13682820601170102
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Disordered expressive prosody is a widely reported characteristic of individuals with autism. Despite this, it has received little attention in the literature and the few studies that have addressed it have not described its relationship to other aspects of communication.
To determine the nature and relationship of expressive and receptive language, phonology, pragmatics, and non-verbal ability in school-aged children with high-functioning autism and to determine how prosody relates to these abilities and which aspects of prosody are most affected.
A total of 31 children with high-functioning autism and 72 typically developing children matched for verbal mental age completed a battery of speech, language, and non-verbal assessments and a procedure for assessing receptive and expressive prosody.
Language skills varied, but the majority of children with high-functioning autism had deficits in at least one aspect of language with expressive language most severely impaired. All of the children with high-functioning autism had difficulty with at least one aspect of prosody and prosodic ability correlated highly with expressive and receptive language. The children with high-functioning autism showed significantly poorer prosodic skills than the control group, even after adjusting for verbal mental age.
Investigating prosody and its relationship to language in autism is clinically important because expressive prosodic disorders add an additional social and communication barrier for these children and problems are often life-long even when other areas of language improve. Furthermore, a receptive prosodic impairment may have implications not only for understanding the many functions of prosody but also for general language comprehension.

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    ABSTRACT: Background and Aim: Autism is a pervasive developmental disorder with several speech disorders such as prosodic and pragmatic impairments. Melodic intonation therapy (MIT) based on Albert et al. model (1973) is a rehabilitation method, developed on prosodic features. The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of MIT on Persian autistic children’s prosody. Methods: An easy version of MIT, adopted for Persian language was designed by researchers. Then, after a successful pilot study on a 10-years-old boy for one month, 13 subjects were selected for the main study. All the subjects were autistic, male, right-handed, 7-10-years-old Persian children studied for 48 sessions (16 weeks). Background information gathered from the parents by a questionnaire. As pre- and post-test, some assessments about children’s fundamental frequency (Fº) and intensity of the Persian vowel sounds and declarative and interrogative sentences were accomplished. The data analysis was done using Praat and SPSS softwares. Results: There was a statistically significant increase in acoustic features, such as intensity, and fundamental frequency of declarative and interrogative sentences; also all six vowels of Persian, excluding /â/ and /æ/ (p<0.05 for all). Conclusion: The widely reported unusual prosody in autistic children was quantified by this study, too. In addition, there was convincing evidence of the positive effects of melodic intonation therapy on acoustic features in Persian autistic children. Keywords: Autism, melodic intonation therapy, prosody, Persian vowels,
    audiology. 02/2014; 23(2):74-82.
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    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Abstract Background and Aim: Autism is a pervasive developmental disorder with several speech disorders such as prosodic and pragmatic impairments. Melodic intonation therapy (MIT) based on Albert et al. model (1973) is a rehabilitation method, developed on prosodic features. The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of MIT on Persian autistic children’s prosody. Methods: An easy version of MIT, adopted for Persian language was designed by researchers. Then, after a successful pilot study on a 10-years-old boy for one month, 13 subjects were selected for the main study. All the subjects were autistic, male, right-handed, 7-10-years-old Persian children studied for 48 sessions (16 weeks). Background information gathered from the parents by a questionnaire. As pre- and post-test, some assessments about children’s fundamental frequency (Fº) and intensity of the Persian vowel sounds and declarative and interrogative sentences were accomplished. The data analysis was done using Praat and SPSS softwares. Results: There was a statistically significant increase in acoustic features, such as intensity, and fundamental frequency of declarative and interrogative sentences; also all six vowels of Persian, excluding /â/ and /æ/ (p<0.05 for all). Conclusion: The widely reported unusual prosody in autistic children was quantified by this study, too. In addition, there was convincing evidence of the positive effects of melodic intonation therapy on acoustic features in Persian autistic children. Keywords: Autism, melodic intonation therapy, prosody, Persian vowels Please cite this paper as: Ferdosi N, Ashayeri H, Modarresi Y, Rovshan B. The effectiveness of melodic intonation therapy on fundamental frequency and intensity in Persian autistic children’s speech. Audiol. 2014;23(2):74-82. Persian.
    Audiology[Persian]. 03/2014; 23(2):74-82.

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